Youve probably seen your cat in this famous Halloween pose. Tail up, back stretched upwards, and just enjoying the moment. But why do cats arch their back?
However, you can differentiate between this and their response to threat because they arent showing their teeth, hissing, or growling . This kind of behavior can be directed to a play buddy, a favorite toy , or a human.
This is a simple indication of laziness or sleepiness and a way to stretch out their 60 vertebrae in the spine . If your cat is exhibiting this behavior during a pet or scratch, this is a very good sign. This means that youve triggered a positive response in the cat and that they appreciate your touch.
Theyll arch their backs to give you easier access to the sweet spot. A cat that arches their back is a common sign of contentment and comfort. Remember to stay vigilant when petting your cat, especially the belly and tail area.
Cats display their bottoms to each other as a sign of friendly greeting, and they tend to do this to humans in order to ask for more pets. As mentioned, when a cat arches its back when you touch them, its a very good sign. But, your own characteristics and personality type can play a huge role in how comfortable the cat feels around you.
Cats may instantly feel comfortable with you, or they might barely tolerate you in exchange for yummy food and security. If a cat has to merely tolerate being touched, it can result in a higher stress level. Similar to arching their backs, cats exhibit numerous behaviors that will indicate that they are appreciative of being touched.
Purring Kneading Kneeling with their tail up Ears pointed outward Relaxed facial expressions Relaxed body language Slow wave of the tail Slow blinking Not unlike their positive behavior, cats have numerous ways to indicate discomfort. Heres a list of some common ways a cat will display their displeasure that might not be as obvious as hissing at you.
Moving their body and head away from you No kneading or purring Stiffened posture Over-blinking or even shaking Thrashing of the tail Widened eyes Licking random body parts Audible sounds of displeasure, like aggressive meowing Some cats enjoy physical touch more than others, and its safer to keep your affections light until you get to know them and they get used to your presence. This small act might even result in the cat trusting you a lot faster and they will ask for pets in no time.
If a cat is displaying negative behavior, it will never be a good idea to try and approach or touch them.
Why do cats arch their back and walk sideways?
Cats and especially kittens love to spend most of their time playing with each other. Playtime for them is also a sort of practice or preparation for their adult life. Kittens usually arch their backs and walk sideways as part of their playtime mode and make-believe way of stalking and hunting each other.
Why do cats arch their back when they knead?
This means that you’ve triggered a positive response in the cat and that they appreciate your touch. They are simply asking for more pets and they will often turn in circles. They’ll arch their backs to give you easier access to the sweet spot. A cat that arches their back is a common sign of contentment and comfort.
What is it called when cats arch their backs?
Arching the back is usually accompanied by the hair standing on ends, called piloerection (pil is Latin for hair), especially on the back and tail. This is the same thing as the goose bumps that you experience when you’re frightened or cold.
Weve all seen it: the iconic scaredy-cat pose with the arched back and raised fur. This image is plastered everywhere around Halloween. Many people assume when cats arch their backs, it means theyre scared or ready to fight, but this isnt always the case. Cats assume this position for many reasons, and well discuss each one. So why is your cat arching their back? Lets explore.
Glands in their rear end release pheromones that other cats can pick up using the vomeronasal organ in the roof of their mouth. While its effects are taking hold, drag the cat toy across the ground in slow, jerky motions.
Halloween is hot on our heels! Front porches and doorways are decorated with creepy goblins, spooky ghosts, and hissing black cats. Indeed, it seems it wouldnt be Halloween without those iconic image of a black cat, arching its back and fluffing out its tail. Yet, does it ever make you wonder why cats do that?
1. They Are Scared
They might come face-to-face with a threat that makes them feel uncomfortable. This will result in them arching their back, hair standing on end, and often hissing. Most cat parents have seen their cats in this position at one time or another.This stance will make the cat appear bigger and, hopefully, will scare away the threat. They might go look for a smaller opponent rather than our big, vicious kitty.This is a direct reaction to a dangerous situation. This kind of body language translates to “I feel threatened, but I am ready to defend myself if you come closer.”The best move would be to leave the unfriendly cat alone and not try to approach them. And if it’s your own cat, it’s best to speak calmly, but not come in the way between rivals.
2. They Are Playing
If your cat is in a playful mood, they might also get into a similar position. This is parallel to their “ready to attack” pose. However, you can differentiate between this and their response to threat because they aren’t showing their teeth, hissing, or growling.This kind of behavior can be directed to a play buddy, a favorite toy, or a human. You can expect pouncing and bouncing behavior when the cat is stimulated. This is an indication that the cat is comfortable and friendly.
3. Simple Stretching
A brief arch of the back can be written off as a lazy stretch – just like us humans. However, cats are more flexible than us, therefore their stretching behavior can seem a bit over the top.A common cat stretch would be a nose-down, tail-up, and outstretched paws. This is a simple indication of laziness or sleepiness and a way to stretch out their 60 vertebrae in the spine.
5. They Might Be Displaying Their Bum
If your cat is exhibiting this behavior during a pet or scratch, this is a very good sign. This means that you’ve triggered a positive response in the cat and that they appreciate your touch.They are simply asking for more pets and they will often turn in circles. They’ll arch their backs to give you easier access to the sweet spot.A cat that arches their back is a common sign of contentment and comfort.But with all that being said, where are the common sweet spots?Remember to stay vigilant when petting your cat, especially the belly and tail area. These are the most sensitive spots on a cat, and it won’t always be met happily.There is a thin line between contentment and discomfort – especially with our feline friends. When a cat becomes overstimulated, it will most likely end up in a scratch or a bite.⇒ Thinking about getting your favourite feline a new collar? Check out my posts on
Cat Reactions To Being Touched
As mentioned, when a cat arches its back when you touch them, it’s a very good sign. But, your own characteristics and personality type can play a huge role in how comfortable the cat feels around you.Cats may instantly feel comfortable with you, or they might barely tolerate you in exchange for yummy food and security. This can be due to gender, how you touch the cat in general, and even the manner in which you treat the cat.Gaining a cat’s trust is rarely simple. Rescue cats are most prone to aggressive and standoffish behavior.If they’d had a bad experience with a human of a certain gender or personality type, they may stay clear of that person and display an aggressive stance.
We’ve all seen it: the iconic “scaredy-cat” pose with the arched back and raised fur. This image is plastered everywhere around Halloween. Many people assume when cats arch their backs, it means they’re scared or ready to fight, but this isn’t always the case. Cats assume this position for many reasons, and we’ll discuss each one. So why is your cat arching their back? Let’s explore.
The Root of the Behavior
Cats arch their back for all sorts of reasons, sometimes simply because it feels good. After all, there’s nothing like a good stretch after a cat nap to warm up your muscles — and cats feel the same way! Cats arching their back to stretch will usually have their head low, legs outstretched, and relaxed squinting eyes. Cats may also assume this position when getting petted simply because they’re enjoying it!Another reason cats arch their back is they’re inviting others to “take their address”. You see, cats can learn a lot from smelling each other’s bums. Glands in their rear end release pheromones that other cats can pick up using the vomeronasal organ in the roof of their mouth.Cats can figure out another cat’s gender and mating status, and even identify littermates just by smelling each other’s butts. Next time your cat arches their back in your direction, know they’re just trying to reintroduce themselves.One of the cutest reasons cats arch their back is they’re feeling playful. Kittens are particularly adept at the playful back arch and may also jump around and paw at the ground or other cats.Cats also tend to arch their back when they feel uncomfortable. You may notice your feline take this stance when confronted by a large dog. They may also puff up their fur, hiss, or growl to try to scare away the perceived threat. This doesn’t mean your cat is aggressive — it’s just your cat’s way of saying, “Back off, I will protect myself.”
Encouraging the Behavior
There are a couple of different ways to encourage your cat to arch their back. One way to do this is to give your feline catnip or break out a fishing rod-style cat toy. Spread some catnip on the ground and coax your cat into smelling it. While its effects are taking hold, drag the cat toy across the ground in slow, jerky motions. Your cat will be arching their back, jumping around, and swatting in no time!Back scratches are another tried-and-true means for getting felines to arch their back. Pet your catto from the base of their neck to the tip of their tail in a gentle downward motion. When done correctly, your cat should arch their back as you make your way down their spine.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Never approach a cat with its back arched and hair standing up. This is a defensive stance, and they may scratch or bite you. The best thing to do in this situation is to stand back and call your cat away from whatever is frightening them. Once your cat is calm, you can go back to petting and holding them.If your cat seems uncomfortable or is unable to straighten out their back, it might be a good idea to talk to your vet. Your cat could be having back spasms or spinal problems that need immediate care.
Anxiety and fear
The black cats with arched backs and bare fangs that you usually see on Halloween merchandise at this time of year are exhibiting fear displays. A threatened cat will try to look bigger by puffing out the tail, arching the back, and turning to the side, This will often be accompanied by hissing and spitting, and a cat experiencing this level of fear or anxiety is likely to scratch or bite.
While petting your cat’s back, you may have also noticed that his or her back will arch affectionately. This is because cats mostly use body language to communicate. An arched back, a purr, and slowly closing eyes usually indicate that you’ve found a spot where you cat enjoys being petted.